Tremblay v. LL Bean
Maine Employers' Mutual Insurance Company
February 18, 2015
CategoriesPartial Benefits / Refusal of Employment
Employment Offer Work Accomodation Partial Incapacity Incapacity Benefits
Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys
If a partially disabled employee refuses a “bona fide offer of reasonable employment without good and reasonable cause,” she is not entitled to ongoing partial incapacity benefits under §214(1)(A).
In the 14 years following Tremblay’s work injury, Bean had accommodated Ms. Tremblay’s work restrictions in a succession of jobs. The final job was in the first-aid department, but Ms. Tremblay worked there only 3 days and then accepted a severance package and left Bean. She filed petitions for additional incapacity benefits.
At hearing, Tremblay testified that first-aid job was too physically demanding and that she lacked the necessary medical background and training. Her supervisor testified that Ms. Tremblay did not mention any physical problems in performing the job and said only that she felt overwhelmed because she lacked the experience and knowledge in the field, which Bean had offered to provide her. Her supervisor had kept “contemporaneous notes of the conversation” to support her testimony, and Hearing Officer Knopf believed her. The hearing officer found Ms. Tremblay refused the employment “without good and reasonable cause.” This decision does not break any new legal ground, but it shows the importance of employers offering suitable work to injured employees, and of making and